Not All Heroes Wear Capes

Today, our young girl Heartstrings Little Miss Sunshine made a visit and, well, brought some sunshine. At 12 1/2 months old this is a big ask from a young Dogue and we are incredibly proud of her.

Traditionally an area dominated by Labs and Goldens, we are very satisfied to have produced an unprecedented number of Dogue de Bordeaux earning Therapy Dog and Service Dog certifications. Hundreds of hours logged in hospitals, children’s hospitals, nursing homes or assisting their owners with activities of daily life such as carrying shopping bags, alerting blood sugar levels or pulling a cart.

No question it is thrilling and exciting to see one of our Dogues run out on the green carpet at Westminster. Or watch them on television at a big show covered by networks. But highest praise and props to these Heartstrings Heroes who do their jobs quietly, faithfully, without fanfare on a daily basis. It is an indescribably deep, rich feeling of pride.

Miss B Wins the National Dog Show – Tune in Thanksgiving Day!

Career win today!  Our beautiful young rising star Grand Champion Heartstrings Low Country Bernadette wins the Breed at the National Dog Show in Philadelphia!

“Miss B” has had a meteoric show career – already setting records at 15 months.  She became AKC Champion at 10 months, was honored as an AKC Puppy of Achievement, AKC Grand Champion at 14 months.

Today winning the National Dog Show; one of the few females to beat the big, impressive boys and ever win here, quite possibly the youngest winner and maybe the only black mask (subject to fact checking now) – it is surreal, we are absolutely floating.

So stop whatever you’re doing on Thanksgiving day, grab some pie and tune in to NBC after the parades to cheer for her in the Working Group.

U.S. Breeder of The Year – 5th Time!

We are honored and thrilled beyond words to pass along that Heartstrings Dogue de Bordeaux has been named U.S. Breeder Of The Year for the 5th time by the Parent Club of the Dogue de Bordeaux in the U.S. – the DDBSA!

GCH CH Heartstrings Margaret CGC U.S. Dam of The Year for the 2nd time!

And – Heartstrings received a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – The Friend of The Dogue!  The humbling criteria:  “The Friend Of The Dogue recognizes and honors an individual who has visibly demonstrated extraordinary dedication and altruism contributing to the Dogue de Bordeaux in the United States.  This individual is considered to be first among his/her peers with regard to concern for the wellbeing of Dogues in both present and future generations.  By way of example, but not limitation, consideration for this award may include involvement and contributions on behalf of breed education, mentorship, rescue, health, and other areas, over a period of years.”

Speechless, teary.  Many, many thanks to the DDBSA and to our peers in the Dogue de Bordeaux community in the United States for thinking so highly of us.  

Puppy Time!

After months of of research, planning, waiting with great anticipation Ella (Champion Heartstrings Dream a Little Dream of Me) has decided it’s time to become a Mama!

She will be bred to Bronze Grand Champion Rising Star’s I’ll Fly Away (Moses).  A wonderful pairing that we are incredibly excited about.  Generations of fantastic type, health, temperament and very important…great longevity back up both sides of the pedigree.

Ella has already started her pre-natal regimen and will have her first Vet visit Saturday with a reproductive specialist.

The Moses semen was frozen in 2012.  It will be shipped Monday from the licensed lab in Atlanta, GA to our Reproduction Vet in Ohio in a space-age looking container.  Little vials carefully preserved over the years, rolling in a vat of liquid nitrogen at a cool -320 degrees Fahrenheit.

We will be monitoring her meticulously, waiting for the precise moment.  At which point, the semen will be slowly, expertly thawed by our Vet so as not to ruin it and she will be artificially inseminated.

Please keep fingers crossed as we hope for a successful breeding and healthy, beautiful babies arriving around Christmas day!

Longevity in the Dogue de Bordeaux

This past weekend GCH Heartstrings Margaret CGC attended a show.  She went out just for fun as a long-retired Veteran (over 7 years old) and came home with a career win!  2 Reserve Best In Show Veteran – then they holy grail – Reserve of The Best of The Best In Show!  From the Veteran class and competing against dogs of all ages and breeds!!!

This is significant for two reasons.  First, our “oldies” enjoy themselves immensely; it is a mitzvah or “act of honor and service” to them.  Second, having a Dogue holding up, competitive/showing and remaining in this great of health and condition at their age is really a badge of honor.

In addition to great type, health, temperament – longevity in the pedigree is a key criteria when making a breeding match.  The breeding window is rather short, between 2-5 years of age and this is where we have to look long and hard back up behind the pair.  Scouring the pedigree looking at the ages of grandparents, great grandparents, even great, great grands.  Searching the globe for pedigrees with the very best longevity.

We are very proud to have several Veterans out there enjoying themselves and the icing on the cake – still bringing home incredible wins at over 7 years old.  A proudly-displayed gray whisker here or there, please enjoy some pics of several our Veterans from a variety of shows over the years.


Bronze Level Breeder of Merit

We are very happy and proud to announce that Heartstrings was recently awarded the prestigious designation of Bronze level Breeder of Merit by the American Kennel Club.

We are so humbled and honored.  The criteria is a lofty goal, including producing at least 15 conformation Champions and a close eye on health.

We are very proud, Preservationist Breeders true to the Breed, correct Type and always the cornerstone of improving health and longevity in our glorious Breed.  Many, many thanks to the American Kennel Club for awarding us with this prestigious designation.

New Champion – Heartstrings #29 AKC Titled Dogue

Last weekend Heartstrings Low Country Bernadette became new AKC Champion – at the nearly unheard age of 10 months!

She enjoyed an undefeated May.  1st place and Winners Bitch every time she stepped in the ring.  Then on to multiple Best of Winners and 2 Best Opposite and Best of Breed wins over older, mature, seasoned Champions.  Many times the youngest Dogue de Bordeaux at the shows.

Our southern belle “Miss B” lives with trusted friends in South Carolina and becomes Heartstrings-bred AKC Titled Dogue #29.  We are so excited about her future and very grateful to her wonderful co-owners Vic and Pam at Low Country.

2 More Perfect Hearts!

Last week we made the long drive to see the head of cardiology at Ohio State, one of the top veterinary schools in the US, to have 2 echocardiograms performed.  Weeks for an appointment, we go here because if there is a problem, Dr. Schober will find it and the prospect will be eliminated from our breeding program.

Aortic stenosis (AS, SAS) and some other heart conditions are genetic and leading causes of death in the Dogue de Bordeaux.  Many times they are silent and can not be determined with a “listen” so an echocardiogram by a board certified cardiologist is necessary.  Here, on echo, we can measure the volume, flow.  Actually see the heart working and determine if there is any regurgitation.  Things you just won’t here on mere auscultation.

Very proud and happy to announce that No Mercy Van de Madroelhoeve and Heartstrings Olga have passed their echocardiograms by a board certified cardiologist with flying colors!